One week after we celebrated our first glimpse of Leia rocking a commanding costume in the behind-the-scenes reel from the The Force Awakens panel at San Diego Comic-Con, which followed two outstanding teasers that proved a mega-franchise movie doesn’t need to stoop to sexualizing any of its characters to generate interest, social media was atwitter over Slave Leia. First, a local Fox station in Philadelphia ran a segment called “Star Wars Action Figure Has Parents Furious” after a father of two daughters took issue with finding Black Series 6” Slave Leia action figures marked “ages 4 and up” in the toy aisle at Target. Later, GQ magazine released images of feminist comedienne Amy Schumer posed provocatively in the Slave Leia costume alongside other famous Star Wars characters.
Judging by the headlines across media outlets, it would appear significant segments of fandom are irate with the local station and the father who instigated its report, as well as with Schumer, who allegedly earned the “ire” of Disney|Lucasfilm. To date, the official Star Wars Twitter account has issued a one-line response, lacking in any actual corporate-level indignation, to fans who reacted to the Schumer images and held Disney|Lucasfilm accountable for them. A short statement from Disney was also released to Variety, along with the admission that parodying the franchise is covered under fair use.
@CPThrio @icecoldpenguin Lucasfilm & Disney didn't approve, participate in or condone the inappropriate use of our characters in this manner
— Star Wars (@starwars) July 16, 2015 . . . → Read More: Slave Leia Sells? Amy Schumer, Boy Toys, and the Star Wars Fandom Double Standard
One of the goals for our podcast Hyperspace Theories is using the perspective of storytelling to inform the process of speculation about future Star Wars tales. While promotional reveals and rumored spoilers can shape fans’ ideas about directions for speculating, getting inside the mind of the storyteller also can provide a basis for anticipating future developments or culling among more likely and less likely possibilities.
Last week Tricia and I were discussing a key decision for any storyteller: writing the death of a fan-favorite character. Certainly neither of us is opposed in principle to “killing our darlings” in stories; anyone who’s read our fiction knows that. At the same time, when carried out poorly such a death can cause a profoundly negative fan reaction and corresponding detrimental impact on subsequent interest in purchasing later stories. In the Legends era, for example, fans were heartbroken by the death of Ton Phanan but still hold the character and his demise in great esteem; by contrast, the death of Mara Jade Skywalker garnered little but ill will and declining sales for the novels. Fans spurn deaths that undermine characterization or themes, lack adequate reasons in the plot, or fail to pay off in future stories, among other flaws – but they also may come to revere a death written with meaning and impact. In other words, although one decision must be whether to kill the character, that choice cannot be separated from the why and how portrayed in the story.
In the course . . . → Read More: Killing Your Darlings: The Life and Death of Ahsoka Tano
Today is the first issue of Marvel’s comic mini-series Princess Leia. . . . → Read More: Marvel’s Princess Leia #1 Begins Today
Kay reviews Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells. . . . → Read More: Kay Reviews Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells
A new Leia story will be featured in Star Wars Insider #145! . . . → Read More: More Leia in Star Wars Insider #145!
What is character agency? Tricia Barr discusses the agency of female characters in Man of Steel, Avengers, Star Wars, Star Trek and Firefly. . . . → Read More: Agent of My Own Destiny: A Discussion of Character Agency
Fangirls Around the Web featuring Star Wars at San Diego Comic-Con 2013. . . . → Read More: Fangirls Around the Web: San Diego Comic-Con 2013 Edition – Part One: Star Wars
Tricia sits down to discuss the ladies of Star Wars with Dan and Correy of Coffee With Kenobi. . . . → Read More: Coffee With Kenobi Discusses the Ladies of Star Wars
Martha Well’s Leia novel, Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge, gets a cover. . . . → Read More: Leia’s Ready for Action
Vader’s Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown, on sale today! . . . → Read More: Vader’s Little Princess